UniCredit might sell Ukrsotsbank


Italy's UniCredit bank is studying the possibility of selling Ukrsotsbank it bought in 2008 at EUR 1.5 billion, Reuters reported citing UniCredit Chief Executive Federico Ghizzoni, according to a Washington-based Ukrinform reporter.

“UniCredit (CRDI.MI), Italy's largest bank by assets, has submitted a preliminary offer to buy Poland's Bank BGZ BGZ.WA and is sounding investors out on the possibility of selling its Ukrainian unit,” Ghizzoni said.

According to him, UniCredit had not yet taken a decision on the sale of Ukrainian lender Ukrsotsbank, which it is in the process of merging with a smaller local unit, UniCredit Bank. "We are sounding out the market, it is not easy to leave countries like these. It took us two years to sell in Kazakhstan," Ghizzoni noted.

The UniCredit CEO explained that the sale of Unicredit's Kazakh operation earlier this was part of the bank's strategy to strengthen its presence in countries it considers "core" and leave those markets where it sees little opportunity for growth.

Ghizzoni said the bank was also looking at growth opportunities in China, where it may open more branches with the aim of helping its own corporate clients who want to expand there and also attracting Chinese investments into Europe.

Adapted from ukrinform.ua

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